Antonio got there early.
“You’re in luck,” bossman said. “Today we got a load from Texas. We can use you.”
It was two hundred pesos a day. A fortune, compared to his father’s factory job.
Inside, a woman showed Antonio how to pry the precious metals from the motherboards, how to free the veins of copper from their insulated sleeves, and how to cover his mouth with his t-shirt when hammering apart the screens.
“See how nothing is wasted?” she’d said and then she coughed into a curled fist.
At dark, bossman came back and counted out the bills. “You party big tonight,” he chuckled. “Come back tomorrow.”
The woman waited until bossman was gone and tugged at Antonio’s sleeve. “Don’t listen to him. He keep you here til you choke on a lung. Be smart. Save money. A year or two of this, and you can leave Renovacion for good.”
This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click below:
When I randomly landed upon this location for Pegman, I had no idea what it was. I wondered at the tarp-covered stacks of debris, and after a bit of research learned that this is where mountains of discarded electronics go to be recycled. You can learn more in this great article by Michael Smith: